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Jailed US Reporter Will Face Trial on Espionage Charges, Russia Says

Authorities announced Thursday that U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, held in Russia for over a year on espionage charges, will face trial in Yekaterinburg, the city where he was detained in the Ural Mountains, Courthouse News reports. An indictment of The Wall Street Journal reporter has been finalized and his case was filed to the Sverdlovsky Regional Court in the city, according to Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office. Though there was no information on when the trial will begin, the proposed penalty is grim: Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


Gershkovich, 32, was detained while on a reporting trip to Yekaterinburg in March 2023 and accused of spying for the United State. He is accused of “gathering secret information” on orders from the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, a facility in the Sverdlovsk region that produces and repairs military equipment, the Prosecutor General’s office said in a statement, revealing for the first time the details of the accusations against him. He is the first U.S. journalist taken into custody on espionage charges since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986 at the height of the Cold War. Gershkovich, his employer and the U.S. government denied the allegations, and Washington designated him as wrongfully detained. Putin has said he believed a deal could be reached to free Gershkovich, hinting he would be open to swapping him for a Russian national imprisoned in Germany, which appeared to be Vadim Krasikov, who is was serving a life sentence for the 2019 killing in Berlin of a Georgian citizen of Chechen descent.

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